Grandparenting at a distance


The project aims to investigate the relations between contemporary Polish grandmothers and grandfathers and grandchildren, the ways in which these relations are maintained and the value they have for grandparents. As fertility decreases and human life expectancy increases, grandchildren are fewer (often less numerous than grandparents), but the relationship with them can last many years. Due to internal and international migration, grandchildren are born and often live far from their grandparents. Distance, national borders, differences in time and language become a challenge in maintaining family relations. Modern communication technologies (ICT) can be the answer. By analizing the complexity of relations with grandchildren, we want to go beyond the schematic perception of grandmothers and grandfathers only as donors of (usually free) childcare or as replacements for absent parents. The inspiration for undertaking the subject of intergenerational relations at a distance was the research of seniors and their migrant families within the MIG/AGEING project (Unfinished migration transition and population ageing in Poland. Asynchronous changes in the population and changes in formal and informal care institutions). The “Grandparenting at a distance” study will be carried out in cooperation with Prof. Louise Ryan from the University of Sheffield.

We present the first results of our nationwide survey of Polish grandmothers and grandfathers in the newsletter CMR Spotlight 1(24)/2021.


2019 - 2021

Source of funding

National Science Centre